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Can I claim for asbestos exposure?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which due to its hardwearing properties, was widely used in the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80s particularly in power stations, shipbuilding, construction and the motor industry. It was not until 1999 that the damaging effects of the fibres were fully accepted and its use was completely banned in the UK.

Many people were exposed to asbestos but had no idea until decades later when the effects began to become apparent. Year on year the number of patients diagnosed with asbestos related diseases continues to rise and is expected to see its peak around 2025.

As well as those that worked directly with asbestos, it is possible for victims to suffer from ‘secondary exposure’. This occurs when inhaling fibres from the work clothes of a family member, or inhalation from living near a factory where asbestos was regularly used.

The illnesses caused by exposure can be very serious and even fatal. These include

Mesothelioma

A rare fatal cancer which most frequently starts in the lining of the lungs but can also start in the abdomen. Symptoms tend to only be noticeable once the cancer has grown and presses on a nerve or body organ. Common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, tiredness and a persistent cough. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but positive studies are being made in the development of immunotherapy treatment which can prolong life expectancy.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer originates in the lung tissue. Symptoms are similar to mesothelioma and include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss. Patients generally have a better survival rate than those with mesothelioma.

Asbestosis

A long term lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a persistent cough, and fatigue and chest pain.

There is no cure for asbestosis once it has developed and it can worsen over time. However, in many cases, the condition progresses very slowly or not at all. Those diagnosed with asbestosis, are at a higher risk of developing pleural disease, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Pleural thickening

Also known as diffuse pleural thickening, this is a lung disease which causes extensive scarring and thickens the lining of the lungs. The capacity and malleability of the lung is often reduced.  Symptoms include chest pain and difficulty breathing.

What do I need to prove to make a claim?

To be able to make a compensation claim for asbestos exposure, you must file the claim within three years from the date that you first become aware of the diagnosis. Or when you were made aware, or should have been aware, of the link between your symptoms and exposure to asbestos.

If you are claiming on behalf of a deceased family member this time can be extended as the claim must be filed within three years of the date of death.

Damages can be substantial in these claims to cover the pain and suffering as well as any financial losses or expenses incurred by the sufferer or their family.  Funding can be obtained to help provide care and adaptations, an example being the installation of stair lifts and walk in showers.

To make a valid claim you must be able to prove some important points. You will need

  1. A medical report, by a reputable respiratory disease expert, to state that you are suffering from an asbestos related illness caused by exposure.
  2. To be able to link asbestos exposure back to a specific workplace; product; location  or, if secondary exposure, to be able to link to the original source
  3. To prove that the employer or occupier was aware of the risks
  4. To prove that the employer was negligent or in breach of a duty in regards to failing to take reasonable practicable steps or to avoid exposure to the asbestos

Proving all of these aspects can be very difficult, particularly if liability is disputed by the employer in question. Due to the length of time which has passed, further difficulties can be found if the company no longer exists or the insurer is difficult to track down. This is why instructing an experienced and accredited asbestos specialist solicitor, like those at Plymouth’s GA Solicitors is crucial.

Additional support can be found on the British Lung Foundation’s website.

The legal perspective of financial wellbeing

As an employer, it’s within your best interests to ensure your employees are healthy and happy. Many businesses have started to recognise the importance of employee wellbeing within the workplace, particularly financial wellbeing. However, did you know the financial wellbeing of your employees isn’t just a nice bonus to provide to your workers, but it could actually be a legal requirement too?

Here, we’ll look at the legal perspective of financial wellbeing in the workplace.

What are your legal responsibilities?

In terms of general financial wellbeing, you aren’t actually legally required to help your employees. However, there are a few financial aspects you are legally responsible for, such as employee pensions and ensuring your staff get paid on time.

It’s especially important to keep on top of changes to workplace pensions. Under the 2008 Pensions Act, employers were legally bound to contribute 2% to employee pension schemes up until April 2019 when it increased to 3%.

Although you aren’t legally required to look after your employee’s financial wellbeing, it is advisable to help where you can. It won’t just benefit your staff if you provide financial wellbeing services, it will also benefit the business too.

The benefits of focusing on employee financial wellbeing

By focusing on improving employee financial wellbeing, you’ll be helping your business too. Lowering financial anxiety in your employees will help to reduce sick leave and boost productivity. The less anxious and stressed your employees are, the more engaged they’re going to be, and this can really help to boost the reputation of your business too.

So, by offering financial wellbeing employee benefits, you’ll ultimately be helping both your company and your staff.

What types of financial wellbeing help should you provide?

So, now you know the benefits introducing employee financial wellbeing into the workplace can be, the question is how can you help? Regardless of your budget, there’s a lot of things you can do to help your workers with their finances.

It’s important to realise that there isn’t a “on size fits all” approach to financial wellness. Each employee will have differing needs, making it a challenge to introduce a solution to benefit everyone. So, you’ll need to focus on offering a variety of elements that are designed to help. Just some potential solutions include:

  • Providing basic financial education
  • Discount schemes
  • Employee loans
  • Contribute more to pensions
  • Review wages

All of the above can really help to boost financial wellbeing in the workplace. If you do decide to provide financial education, it’s important to remember the risks involved. If you provide poor advice which makes your employees worse off, you could face legal issues. So, avoid giving in-depth advice and stick to the basics of money management.

Overall, you may not have significant legal responsibilities to look after your employee’s financial wellbeing, but it’s still worth doing what you can to help. Reducing financial troubles for your workers will ultimately benefit your business too.

How to ensure that your business is compliant with health and safety laws

While the threat of Brexit and potential tariffs on imports has cast a shadow over the catering industry in the UK, this market has continued to boom over the course of the last five years. In fact, it’s now worth an estimated £1 billion, with the sector having achieved annual growth of 1% on average since the beginning of 2013.

Aside from Brexit, this market also faces a raft of additional challenges in the current climate, including the need to comply with increasingly stringent health and safety regulations. Whilst this type of legislation is important, it can be costly for businesses to comply and maintain a model that’s both profitable and viable over time.

In this post, we’ll look at the steps that you can take to guarantee compliance and ensure that your business can achieve sustainable success.

Be proactive and partner with trusted suppliers

When looking to create a compliant business, it’s important to be proactive and make purchasing decisions that minimise long-term issues.

One example is to partner with trusted equipment suppliers from the outset, as this ensures that you invest in durable and high quality items that are not prone to wear or tear over time.

By investing in high quality equipment such as bain maries, you’ll also access items that are exceptionally easy to clean and maintain, making them far more likely to pass objective health and safety inspections. Remember, kitchen equipment is often quite technical and requires an accredited service engineer, and buying substandard goods on the cheap will only increase your costs in the long-term.

Sold by reputable and trusted suppliers like Nisbets, this type of equipment usually comes with extended guarantees and plays an active role in minimising the risk of accidents in typically busy catering environments.

Complete a unique risk assessment in your business

This brings us onto the subject of risk assessment, which is a must for any business regardless of what industry it participates in.

There’s no doubt that conducting a risk assessment is particularly important for food oriented businesses, however, as people who work in these ventures which are often exposed to boiling hot liquids and temperatures, various tripping hazards and heavily populated working areas.

It’s therefore crucial to conduct a comprehensive and independent risk assessment of your premises, including all areas where food is prepared and served.

Ideally, you’d hire a third-party service provider to undertake this work too, as this will guarantee the quality of any findings and identify the key areas that need to be tackled as a priority.

Train your staff properly

In any instances where staff must comply with vast and complex swathes of health and safety legislation, it’s also important to place training at the front and centre of your business strategy.

This involves a number of different aspects, including training your employees to ensure that they’re well-versed in current food handling standards and the best practices.

At the same time, you’ll need to make sure that any employees who are required to lift heavy items and prepare food are also well trained.

More specifically, they must learn how to lift correctly and handle potentially dangerous kitchen equipment safely, in order to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace.

Are you entitled to free legal representation in the UK?

 

We have all seen American legal dramas and shows where they make it clear that anyone facing charges is entitled to legal representation in the courtroom. Even if they cannot afford it themselves, they will find a lawyer helping them out pro bono (for free) and this allows them to try to fight whatever claim has been made against them fairly. Is it the same situation here in the UK? Let’s take a look.

Civil court

Lawyers in the UK can represent you in either the civil court or the criminal court so we shall look at both. While the UK does not have a pro bono system like the Americans do, there is a system of legal aid to help those who might not be able to afford lawyer’s fees.

When it comes to cases in the civil court, you can apply for legal aid if you can provide evidence that you cannot afford legal support by your own means. This means that you can seek help to pay some or all of your legal costs if you are unable to do so yourself. You will quite often have to provide evidence of your household income. If you are under the age of sixteen, you are automatically eligible for legal aid for representation in the courts.

Criminal court

Cases in the criminal court run a little differently. You are not entitled to free representation in the court but once again you are able to apply for legal aid to help you recuperate some of the costs of hiring a lawyer.

There are a number of different reasons why criminal legal aid might be applied to you. However, you are most likely to earn some sort of aid if you are likely to go to prison if convicted, you are likely to lose your job if convicted, or you are about to be charged with something which is likely to necessitate a trial with a jury. You are then likely left to find your own legal counsel; whether you are appearing at your local court or you require representation at Crown Court for a more serious offence.

Police custody

One of the exceptions to the rules listed above is if you find yourself in police custody. If you are questioned at a police station, you have the right to free legal advice from a lawyer regardless of your financial status. This can either be over the phone or in person. You also have the right to have a lawyer present in the room during your questioning. Know your rights when you are under arrest.

It is extremely important that you always know exactly when and where you are entitled to legal aid. Do not be afraid to reach out to organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau if you think that you need some extra help. The legal system can appear confusing to those who do not know its intricacies but you will be able to navigate with knowledge of a few simple matters such as this.

What are the legal considerations when opening an online vaping store?

E-cigarette sales are fast overtaking tobacco sales, as more people look to ditch the cigarettes for a healthier lifestyle. This has led to an increase in the number of vaping companies setting up as they look to cash in on this latest trend. Even huge tobacco companies are switching to selling e-cigarettes, phasing out their tobacco sales.

While there’s no denying an online vaping store can be a lucrative venture, it’s not quite as easy as you might think to start one. Did you know for example, that there are a few legal considerations you’ll need to take into account? Here, we’ll look at the legal considerations you need to factor in if you’re thinking of opening an online vaping store.

Restrictions of e-cig models

In 2017, the regulations surrounding the sale of e-cigarettes were tightened, introducing several new requirements. If you’re looking to start selling vaping equipment, you’ll need to be aware of these new restrictions.

One new rule introduced, is that e-cigarette tanks cannot hold more than 2ml of liquid. They also need to have clear warnings and labels on the packaging. Perhaps one of the most important requirements you’ll need to meet before selling any e-cigarette products, is that they need to be notified to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Understanding liquid restrictions

It’s not just the e-cigs themselves that have restrictions placed upon them. If you plan on selling e-liquids to go with them, you’ll also need to be aware of a few new regulations.

Refill container liquids are now no longer allowed to contain more than 10ml of high nicotine volume. They are also restricted to no more than 20mg/ml strength of nicotine. Additionally, specific ingredients have been banned in the liquids such as caffeine, taurine and colourings. Like every e-cig you plan on selling, the liquids also need to be notified to the MHRA before they can be sold online.

Marketing restrictions

As well as paying attention to e-cig and e-liquid restrictions, you also need to be aware of the rules surrounding marketing.

The rules for vaping ads are covered under Section 22 of the CAP Code. Therefore, it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations prior to putting together a marketing strategy. Did you know for example, that all nicotine-containing products are banned from being advertised on some media platforms? Some of the most important rules to abide by when marketing e-cig products include:

  • Ensure they are socially responsible
  • Don’t aim the adverts at children
  • Don’t make any medical claims
  • Don’t provide misleading information about the products

These are the main rules to follow, but it is worth taking the time to familiarise yourself with the full Section 22 of the CAP Code.

Overall, vaping is a popular industry and provided you understand the regulations, it can prove to be a very lucrative business venture. Before setting up an online vaping store, be sure to research everything you can about the rules and regulations you’ll need to adhere to.

Key legal considerations for money lenders

Over the past decade, more people have looked to money lenders for financial help. Loans, credit cards and other products are designed to help individuals cover important costs.

So long as it is paid back in full, borrowed finance can be a useful option. Providers also stand to make profit from depositor’s funds. Unsurprisingly, its various benefits attract many people to the money lending business every year.

Over the past decade, start-ups have emerged across Britain, many of which are based in this sector. To set up a company, it is imperative to adhere to legal rules — and this is especially true for aspiring money lenders.

To help, here we list the key considerations:

Products on offer

What kind of product do you want to specialise in? Is it credit cards? Perhaps loans? Whichever it is, remember that your business must always deliver impeccable service to clients.

To achieve this, you will need to stay on top of all regulations — including those related to your specific product. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provides up-to-date information on all aspects of the money market.

It can be a useful source for borrowers and lenders alike. It could also enable you, as a business owner, to remain updated on the different laws that relate to your field.

General regulations

As with any sector, there are general — as well as particular — regulations that industry members are required to follow. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) governs framework regulation for financial companies in the UK.

Certain European rules can also influence how financial services within the EEA (of which Britain is a part) conduct business. To ensure legal immaculacy at all times, make sure that all procedures are carried out under the correct laws. You could handle this by hiring a team of researchers. That way, you can avoid any unwanted surprises when it comes to client repayments.

You’ll also be better able to fully protect customers — and this may heighten your appeal as a provider.

Corporate social responsibility

Throughout the world, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a major priority for enterprises. If you adhere to CSR, you can maximise safety for employees and clients, which can improve company reputation.

To guarantee an open work environment, why not invite staff to contribute to the firm’s code of conduct? This could help them to feel more supported and valued within the team.

In addition, you can strengthen community outreach through helpful services. You could deliver a free course on successful financial management, for example. You may want to incorporate branded literature and course packs into these.

Through this activity, you can showcase your team’s knowledge of financial regulations to the public and potential customers. This provides the perfect opportunity to promote the organisation, too. All in all, it creates a win-win situation.

With complete legal commitment, money lending can be a fruitful pursuit. Once you know how to protect your company, employees and — most importantly — clients, you can begin to enjoy the benefits. With full financial awareness, your business could thrive.

The process of completing a fatal accident claim

When you have been affected by a fatal accident, making a claim is likely to be one of the last things on your mind. You will understandably be taking the necessary time to mourn your loved one as well as making arrangements in the wake of their unexpected death. However, it’s important to realise that taking the huge first steps towards receiving the compensation you’re owed can help ease the financial pressure on yourself.

As we will explain in this article, making a fatal accident claim doesn’t have to be a long and hassling process. Here is the process you will go through when completing a fatal accident claim…

Find the right solicitor for you

The first step you should undergo is to look around for a trusted firm who will represent you throughout the whole process of making a claim. You will want to find a team of experienced solicitors who specialise in cases such as your own. Many qualified firms operate on a No Win, No Fee basis which shows that winning your case is at the forefront of everything they do. Don’t make the decision that you can handle a claim on your own, particularly when the emotional stress can cloud your judgement and understanding.

Naturally you will have a lot of questions which this step is why is arguably the most important one you will face. You shouldn’t commit until you know what lies ahead. Any professional firm should be able to provide a free, no obligation consultation. Use this opportunity to clarify any questions or doubts you may have.

Appointing a firm to handle your case

Finding the courage and will to get to this position is a mark of your strength and belief in chasing what is right. By this point you should know if you are eligible to claim, what you can claim for and how much you can claim. Whether you are looking to claim for a bereavement award, a motorbike accident claim or another type of fatal claim, these are all points that should be answered during the initial consultation when searching for the right solicitors.

If a solicitor firm agrees to take on your case, then this is a sign that they believe you have a strong case to answer, especially if they work on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that you won’t be liable to pay their solicitor fees unless your case wins in court.

A coroner may decide to hold an inquest

One of the first major developments that can occur during your fatal accident claim is when a coroner chooses to hold an inquest. An inquest is not always necessary but will happen if a post-mortem examination shows that a death has not been caused by natural causes. An inquest may also still be held in deaths by natural causes in certain situations such as if someone was under arrest or in prison at the time of their death.

During an inquest, the coroner will carry out an investigation and hear evidence to confirm the identity of the deceased and their cause of death. At the end of the inquest they will then deliver a verdict. However, it’s important to note that this does not disclose any individual or organization as having criminal or civil liability.

While the thought of hearing evidence at an inquest can be nerve-wracking, many of those affected typically feel that this is an important part of the grieving process and helps them come to terms with their loss. It is also a good chance to prepare yourself for future proceedings. Your solicitor can represent you at the inquest and will help ease your concerns during the process.

Taking your case to court

From the moment you choose your solicitor firm, they will look to build a case as strong as possible with your best interests at the forefront. This will come in the form of evidence you may find difficult to confront and tough questions you will be asked. The solicitors should make you feel at ease and answer any questions or concerns you may have. It’s important that you co-operate with them as much as possible in their conquest to gather the facts. You may be asked to supply evidence to help your case such as doctor notes, police complaints, salary slips, letters from an employer, photographs of injuries, witness statements and receipts showing expenses related to the accident and subsequent death.

Going to court can be a worrying scenario for everyone and even more so if you are asked to give evidence. Regardless of your involvement during the proceedings, this is where the solicitors earn their money. Not only should their priority be to present the strongest possible case against the defence, but it’s important that they keep you at ease and inform you of regular updates along the way.

If all is successful, the process for a fatal accident claim will hopefully conclude with you receiving the amount of compensation that you deserve.

Why you should get in contact with a personal injury lawyer

Personal injury law is very complicated, and if you have recently been involved in an accident, then you might need to seek the help of a professional. Many people who are seriously injured don’t do anything about it while their life isn’t affected, and they miss out on compensation. Here, we are going to talk you through some of the reasons why you should get in contact with a personal injury lawyer. Keep reading to find out more.

You were recently injured

One of the most important reasons why you should get in contact with a personal injury lawyer is the fact that you were recently injured. Injuries vary in severity, but you will find that if you have been injured in such a way that your daily life has been affected, then you might just have a case. People often talk about making a claim, but without a personal injury lawyer you won’t be able to establish whether this is possible or not.

The law is complicated

Although it can be tempting to handle things by yourself when you are seriously injured, you might find that you don’t handle things correctly and cause more problems for yourself. There are specific laws that surround personal injuries, and if you don’t claim compensation or put in a complaint within a certain period of time, you could find yourself unable to make a claim at all. Make sure to get in contact with a personal injury lawyer right away.

Lawyers specialise in this

You might already have a lawyer that handles all of your other matters, but do they specialise in personal injury law? Certain law firms like Atkins Hope have teams that can handle these matters in a short period of time and get you the help that you need. If you are looking for someone who is trained in these sort of cases, then make sure to get in contact with Blackheath solicitors who can get you the compensation you deserve.

The insurance company denied your claim

Have you recently been injured and have found that your insurance company haven’t been accommodating? Insurance companies can deny claims for a whole host of reasons and can often leave people like yourself feeling like there is no compensation possible. Of course, when you contact a personal injury lawyer, you can figure out why this happened in the first place and decide on what to do next with the help of your lawyer.

Get in contact now

If you are thinking about getting in contact with a personal injury lawyer over a recent accident, then you should make sure to do so as soon as possible. Without proper knowledge of the law surrounding this, you could be risking your claim and won’t get everything that you deserve. Get in contact with a solicitor that specialises in this sort of claim today to get your life back on track.

Alternative ways to manage a legal firm

Managing a law firm can be quite challenging especially when you don’t have help from experts in varied fields. Finding alternative ways of managing your law firms frees up time so that you can focus on core responsibilities. Aside from helping clients and the community, a law firm has sound management and administrative tasks that need to be addressed. Consider outsourcing legal marketing services from experts who will understand your vision and work with you to achieve it.

The importance of marketing and PR for a legal firm

Legal advertising is an integral part of running a law firm since it is a business that requires strategy and planning for it to thrive. Hiring professionals who understand the intricacies of legal ethics and your target audience ensures you move forward as one force. Choose a company that will serve your strategic and planning communications needs.

• Focus on your core business – practising law

As a small regional law firm, you need all hands on deck to ensure you achieve the goals you set for your business. A well-reputed service provider understands the industry and what needs to be done for your firm to stay ahead of your competitors. In running a law firm, remembering you are a lawyer firsts ensures you delegate the repetitive, mundane day to day activities so you can focus on practising law.

• Using a dedicated PR and marketing firm handle your day to day tasks

Dealing with your companies PR and promotion responsibilities can be quite time-consuming especially if you are not an expert in this field. The development of measurable promotion campaigns that you can integrate into your promotion plan is only possible when you get assistance from experts. Communicating mergers and acquisitions as you take strides towards expanding your law firm are made seamless and reasonable when you are working side to side with a professional legal marketing service provider.

• Implementing a strategic plan

You can use a strategic plan to influence the court of public opinion even as a small firm. Creation and execution of public relations plans need knowledge and skillsets that only an expert can have. With the right PR and promotion strategies, you can position yourself as a leader in a crowded marketplace. It would help if you had a company that advocates on your behalf to influence:

  • Leaders’ opinion
  • Media
  • Government officials
  • Civil leaders
  • Competitors and peers

In expert PR and promoting company will target decision-makers in the industry to ensure there is a referral relationship built for your firm’s benefit. When you garner qualified association membership, you can have a voice as a law firm in a crowded marketplace. PR helps you minimise the damage that arises from negative media coverage and other sources. With a strong PR and promotion plan in place, you are in a position to defend your firm’s hard-earned reputation. You can proactively safeguard your firm’s interests through media policies, crisis communication plans, as well as, social media policies.

Outsourcing support services

As a law firm, you need to spend time on money generating activities and leave the management tasks to professionals. Outsourcing PR and marketing services makes sense from a financial perspective as it is quite time-consuming. Trying to dabble lawyer responsibilities and marketing activities can hinder you from achieving success as a law firm. Aside from adapting time-saving routines, you need to outsource PR and marketing services to ensure you have control over your firm. Companies like Excello Libertas can help your business grow to include:

  • SEO specialists
  • Content marketing experts
  • Developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Brand consultants
  • Automation specialists

The value of outsourcing support services considering the unprecedented change in the legal profession cannot be underestimated.

Niche in-depth expertise and experience ensures that online lead generation activities give you the anticipated results. Experts with vast knowledge about how the legal industry works ensure excellent execution of your digital promotion campaigns. Speed and efficiency ensure that you are always steps ahead of your competitors. Recruiting an able team to offer PR and marketing services ensures that your law firm gets to where you want it to be.

Don’t forget to purchase professional indemnity insurance as a legal firm as this can save you from paying huge sums of money. Aside from legal digital marketing, PI insurance saves you money in cases where your firm has allegedly provided inadequate advice. As a law firm, you can easily fail due to professional negligence claims. Professional indemnity insurance protects the firm from bearing the full cost of these claims.

Conclusion

Having a disciplined PR and promotion strategy in place as a small law firm ensures you achieve success and grow as a business. Consider outsourcing support services so that you can focus on the core responsibilities. Hiring experts ensure you get anticipated results from PR and promotion strategies.

 

Gambling regulations in the UK and Sweden

The gambling industry generated a gross yield of 115 billion dollar back in 2016 – this figure has steadily increased, urging many national governments to take a closer look at operations within this industry. Many national governments today still own or operate a variety of gambling operations. In the European Union, legislations and laws vary from country to country with no blanket law being applied at EU-level. The only requirement is that countries conform to Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Hence, gambling is legal across member states although operators are often subject to gambling laws stipulated and enforced by national governments. Many countries, including the UK, have of recent re-evaluated their gambling laws and policies in an attempt to regulate taxation within the sector and foment responsible gambling amongst players.

Why regulate the market?

Having regulated online casino operators has several benefits. Players can play safely, knowing that they are using software and probability applications which are according to pre-set standards. Online casinos are duty-bound to be transparent and implement several processes to ensure players adhere to their rules. In this way, for example, the number of underage players at online casinos has significantly decreased (although the UK gambling commission still reports gambling amongst underage individuals).

Gambling laws in certain jurisdictions have also led to an uneven playing field between the State and a private operator. Restrictions also apply for residents of one country to play in an online casino that has its servers located in another. This is one of the reasons why European operators have so much trouble accessing the North American market.

Gambling laws in the UK

In the UK, gambling is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission of which functions where set up under Gambling Act 2005. This executive body is responsible for regulating arcades, betting, bingo, casinos and slot machines. This commission and recent changes to gambling laws brought the UK into the reality of modern gambling, with specific attention given to online casinos.

The Act’s three main objectives that fall with the remit of commercial gambling are:

  1. The prevention of gambling as an illicit activity used to facilitate and support criminal activity or encourage disorder
  2. Verifying that gambling is carried out in a fair manner
  3. Safeguarding minors and vulnerable persons from any suffering or exploitation which could arise from gambling

So who needs a license?

Providers of commercial and remote gambling services (such as online gambling) are required to have a licence if operating within or offering their services to individuals residing in Great Britain. There are exemptions for premises holding an alcohol license where certain games (eg. Poker) may be exempt from regulation but are still required to follow a code of practice which stipulates limitations with regards to the stakes and prizes.

Private gaming (defined as gambling within a place to which the public do not have access) is permitted by the commission. It is subdivided into domestic gaming and residential gaming. There are still complex legal guidelines which define where gambling activities can take place and any arrangements made; the commission recommends seeking legal advice before organising events which involve gambling.

Further UK legal resources for licensing and gaming.

What about players?

Whilst players who gamble online do not need a licence they must be over the legal age of 18. Online casinos, however, require a licence issued by the Gambling Commission in order to accept players residing in the UK.

There are some jurisdictions which have a special licensing exemption, such as countries in the European Economic Area, the EEA. Other countries which have such an exemption include some countries within the Commonwealth such as Antigua, Barbuda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Gambling laws in Sweden

The Swedes have a long history of gambling, dating back to the Vikings. In fact, legend has it that in the 11th century, the Swedes settles a land dispute with Norway over a game of dice. In Sweden, the Swedish Gambling Authority is known as Lotteriinspektionen. This authority is tasked with “ensuring the safety, legality and reliability of the country’s gambling industry”[ https://www.lotteriinspektionen.se/en/].

Today Swedish gamblers only had access to four land-based casinos which belong to a single state owner operator known as SvenskaSpel. The national government created a monopoly to reduce illegal gambling and protect the customer. Private operators found a lot of obstacles to operating in the country and competing fairly with the state-owned, Svenska Spel. This spurred a mushrooming of online gambling companies offering online services to individuals living in Sweden but based in jurisdictions such as Malta and Gibraltar which facilitate setting up such businesses as well as significant corporate tax benefits.

Sweden’s new gambling law

In 2018, Sweden voted in a new gambling regulation which will come into effect on the 1st January 2019. The law was passed following pressure from several Swedish gambling operators and the EU, which saw Sweden’s monopolistic attitude went against the block’s philosophy of free trade.

Under the new law all online operators offering their services to people in Sweden will require a Swedish licence. find a full list of FAQs about laws and regulations for Swedish players.

In several ways, Sweden’s new gambling law is analogous to that of the UK. Online gambling will be open to players over the age of 18, whereas land-based casinos will only be accessible to over 21s. Players will be given easier options to bar themselves from gambling sites and promotional material. The law focuses primarily on improving game security, enhancing player protection and opening the country to more liberal competition practices.

Summing up the main points

  • Commercial Companies will be subject to 18% tax
  • Not-for-profit organisations are exempt from tax
  • License prices will vary from 400 000 – 700 000 SEK
  • Age limit of 18+ for online gambling and 21+ to enter a physical casino

The biggest challenge which this law will bring is the restriction of bonuses to just one welcome bonus. This means that operators will not be able to provide weekly bonuses, loyalty rewards and the host of bonuses and promotional offers they currently do. When the new law comes into force all players will be considered new, so operators will have the possibility to entice them with one last bonus. However, beyond the welcome package, operators will need to find new ways to keep players loyal and not lose them after the bonus.

With this new law six different licences will be available, based on the type of operation, such as a non-profit or a cruise ship. Licences also vary in cost and purpose, with some licences available to online casinos and others open to game creators.

References

Gambling Commission: Licensing, compliance and enforcement under the Gambling Act 2005: policy statement (PDF) [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

GOV.UK: Gambling Commission [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

Wikipedia: Gambling Commission [Accessed 4 Dec. 2018]

Statista: Casino industry – Statistics & Facts [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

Lotteri Inspektionen (Swedish Gambling Authority) [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

Gambling Commission: How we regulate the gambling industry [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

European Commission: Online gambling in the EU – Growth [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

Wikipedia: Svenska Spel [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

European Casino Association: Sweden [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]

Gambling Commission: Young People and Gambling [Accessed 4 Dec 2018]